Hammer And Sickle

A Third Russian Revolution?

You say you want a revolution,Well, you know we all wanna change the world..  

First there was the Russian Revolution in 1917 when several groups loosely afflicted with what would later become Russia’s Communist Party overthrew Russia’s last royal family, Nicholas II, czar and absolute ruler of Russia.

Two world wars and one cold war later, the second Russian resolution managed to throw out of power the Communist controlled government, that was back in 1991. With it came the establishment of a short-lived experiment in democracy, coupled to a hybrid form of capitalism led by President Yeltsin. That revolution only lasted a brief 8 years before the transitional government takeover by Vladimir Putin, ex-KGB and hard core communist, who turned his hammer and sickle in for a starring role as Russia’s absolute leader and chief oligarch.

With the invasion of the Ukraine, Russia’s highly leveraged military machine has surprisingly suffered major losses since the start of the war with and in the Ukraine. Increasingly reliant on internal mercenary factions, and most specifically, the Wagner Group, these mercenaries-for-hire are a part of a growing network of Russian-based organizations that serve as military contractors, and the Wagner Group led by chief Yevgeny Prigozhin is key to Putin’s plan for victory in Ukraine.

The reasons for Putin pushing Russia into an unwanted and unwarranted war with the Ukraine I’ll leave to historians, but Wagner Group’s Prigozhin summed the war with Ukraine this way, “What was the war for? The oligarchic clan that rules Russia needed the war.”

The Wagner Group’s cannon fodder style battle strategy has been reasonable successfully against Ukraine’s highly trained, often outnumbered, but committed forces. As long as Wagner has unlimited access to Russia’s military supplies and prisons to restock its highly expendable rank and file, they will remain a major threat to Ukraine’s war plans.

In what has been mounting criticism of the Russia’s military leadership, Wagner’s Prigozhin has been in engaged in a feud with the established military leadership, a feud that  has been simmering for months. Prigozhin, however, has been careful to avoid naming Russia’s president Putin,  carefully avoiding any direct criticism.  He has, however, repeatedly slammed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Gen. Valery Gerasimov for not supplying his forces with enough ammunition and for failing to conduct the war effectively

Prigozhin’s challenge to the Russian Defense Ministry — and by proxy, to Putin — has thrown Moscow into an unexpected crisis that threatens to undermine Putin’s war effort in Ukraine.

Prigozhin’s conflict with Russia’s military leadership over the course of the long, bitter fight for Bakhmut came to a head this week, with Wagner group forces making an abrupt about-face after heading back into Russia on the road to Moscow and Putin’s doorstep, who at last report had left the Capital for an unknown destination.

Russain RevolutionPutin mobilized Russian troops on Saturday to defend Moscow from what he called an armed rebellion by Mr. Prigozhin, whose forces had claimed control of Rostov-on-Don and were seen moving north along a highway toward the Russian capital. Then, in a surprise turn of events, the Belarusian president, Alexsandr G. Lukashenko, said he had secured Mr. Prigozhin agreement to halt his forces’ advance. Mr. Prigozhin confirmed that he was turning his forces around.

With the outcome the Wagner Group’s aborted march on Moscow earlier today, and the events of the last 24 hours, world leaders are monitoring the situation closely while the stability of world’s second largest nuclear power hangs in the balance.

Before Russia’s war in Ukraine, Americans may recognized Wagner’s Prigozhin as the financier of the Internet Research Agency — the Russian “troll farm” that the Justice Department indicted in 2018 for interfering with the United States’ 2016 presidential election by weaponizing social media in moves designed to support the Trump candidacy.

For ongoing coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine see BeyondKona’s “Headline News” section: https://www.beyondkona.com/national-headline-news/   

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